Education: Courses while in the U.S. Army serving in South Korea, Texas, Washington, and Iowa
Resume: Slot technician, Hollywood Casino, Aurora, Illinois; slot director and senior director of operations, Isle of Capri Casino, Reno, Nevada; general manager, Wild Rose Casino and Resort, Clinton, Iowa; director of operations, Casino KC, Kansas City, Missouri; senior vice president and general manager, Bally’s Evansville, August 2021-present
Hometown: Davenport, Iowa
Family: Wife Rhonda; daughter Brianna, 22; and son Connor, 20
Tim Bollmann considers himself something of a casino nomad. The Bally’s Evansville senior vice president and general manager has called the River City home since October 2021, and he comes with a wealth of experience from three decades working at casinos across the Midwest.
Employed at several levels in the industry, Bollmann intimately knows how casinos run, and those skills made him a natural fit to lead Evansville’s casino as it transitioned from Tropicana to Bally’s.
“It’s all a team, and how you treat people, how you deal with people — they want that experience. That’s why they’re here,” Bollmann says.
How did you get started in the casino industry?
The economy was in pretty rough shape at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s. I’m out of the military, where I learned how to work on electronics and components. I moved back home and then the casino started up. They had a slot technician position, and (I was) like, “Well, maybe I’ll be interested in that.” I took a job rebuilding old slot machines to put on the first riverboat casino in the Midwest. I was right out of the Army, so I didn’t know what I was getting into. And it was like, “Hey, I’m earning pretty good money, and I can put gas in my car. I can buy my girlfriend dinner. This is a cool summer.” And here I am, 32 years later.
How do your three decades of working in the casino industry help you in your position as general manager?
You understand the challenges of each position and how it impacts your overall operation. Knowing that there are certain challenges that are not unique to this business. A casino is like a small city. We have a security force, a bank, housekeeping, food and beverage, maintenance, finance, marketing, and human resources to name a few areas. I’m not just somebody that came in and doesn’t understand how those operate. I can kind of empathize with those employees, know what they need, and kind of know how to prioritize assets.
Tell us about overseeing the Evansville casino’s transition from Tropicana to Bally’s.
There’s been a lot of ownership changes in every industry. The casinos aren’t immune from that, either. I think people know the Bally’s brand, it’s got long ownership and history in gaming, and it’s getting bigger every day from the social media, sports wagering, and online presence. We’re part of a larger family that continues to grow. Here, it’s been great because the team is really supportive, wanting to get behind the ownership change. People can really see the difference from where we were to where we’re at today.
How has the industry changed since you started in 1990?
There is an emphasis on slot machines. The technology’s changed, of course. When I first started, table games were the major focus of a casino because that’s where the money was made and that’s where people had the best time. Slots machines overtook that, but I think people want the interaction and there is a heightened interest in table games.
Frankly, I can go on my phone right now and probably play almost any casino game. But people don’t come to a gaming entertainment establishment just to play the games. It’s about that human interaction, the atmosphere, the social experience. Especially since COVID-19. It’s also cool because we’re all part of the same community. It’s like family when they come in the door.